Brianna Bailey runs uncontested for SGA university-wide president

Brianna Bailey engages during the Spring 2020 Debate. Photo by Shel Levy | The Signal

Current Student Government Association Atlanta Speaker of the Senate Brianna Bailey is running uncontested for university-wide president for the 2021-22 school year. 

She maintains her focus from her campaign for speaker, emphasizing that the students have the power. 

“I may possess a title, but you hold all the power,” Bailey said during her 2020 campaign.

To ensure students have the power, Bailey aims to build better communication between students, SGA and the university, make SGA more accessible and better unify Georgia State’s campuses. 

She noted that communication between students, SGA and Georgia State faculty and staff has been inadequate for several years, leading to many internal problems.

“Georgia State University has over 54,000 students spread out over its six campuses throughout metro Atlanta. Proper communication is vital in productivity, efficiency and safety for all,” Bailey said. “Poor communication leads to an influx of related issues such as campus safety, student involvement and education quality.”

Bailey believes that poor communication played a role in three issues students have brought to SGA in the past year: campus safety, advisement center operations and poor event attendance. 

Over the past year, students have raised concerns regarding inoperable police call boxes and inadequate police presence on campus. 

“I know the police presence [issue] is something that has been prevalent, but I think it probably got worse due to COVID,” Bailey said. 

Bailey hopes to resolve these issues by bringing them to Georgia State and the GSUPD’s attention to fix the police call boxes and make other accommodations. She also wants to work with GSUPD regarding the lack of police presence.

“We want to figure out those things to relay that information to the students and then figure out what the students will want for us to do to actually make the change,” Bailey said. 

SGA also received complaints from students criticizing the advisement center’s operations.

“I believe one of the main issues with the advisement is the fact that a lot of the advisors leave, and they have to continuously change out people,” Bailey said. “So then, they are not able to build those relationships with the students themselves.”

Bailey proposed putting students in advisement groups to solve these issues, where they are familiar with more than one advisor. 

“If one [advisor] does decide to leave there, [students] are not left hanging out to dry with some new advisor who knows nothing about them. [I want to] just increase the relationship building,” she said. 

As for event attendance and student outreach, Bailey wants to hold sessions for students to openly speak about the events they want to see on their campuses. 

“[I want to] increase the communication between the student body and the faculty and staff to make sure that they’re actually doing what the students want to see or want to experience,” she said.

The pandemic taught Bailey the importance of using technology and social media to connect with students, allowing them to voice their concerns to bring beneficial change to the university. She aims to boost SGA’s social media presence so that students are more aware of SGA events and create new SGA social media pages for each campus to view upcoming events easily. 

“We’ll make sure people that are able to see us and just scrolling through their timeline. They’ll say, ‘Oh, SGA is holding a discussion or something,’” Bailey said. “And then there’ll be more informed rather than just use utilizing PIN, which a lot of students don’t check often.”

SGA has currently been working on legislation to change its structure and unify the downtown and Perimeter campuses. Bailey plans to continue this effort, focusing on creating one SGA for the Perimeter campuses and one for the Atlanta campus. 

“It’s easier because the main thing that we’re normally focused on throughout an administration is filling vacancies,” she said. “So if we don’t have those vacancies, then we can actually worry about getting the work done for the student body.” 

Because of the pandemic, the 91st administration did not get the opportunity to focus on increasing transportation options between campuses like they planned. With the possibility of a return to campus in the fall, Bailey hopes to “start those strides that the last administration didn’t actually get the chance to.”

“Specifically, I was focusing on having the events and making sure we have transportation for Perimeter students that come to those events on the Atlanta campus and not forcing them to have to figure out the transportation for themselves,” she said. “[I want to] utilize the buses that we already have.”

Bailey won the title of Atlanta speaker last March after a runoff with Audrey Abraham; she plans to take her experiences from her current position into this new role.

“This position has granted me the opportunity to effectively evaluate the critical needs and changes for the organization and the university as a whole,” Bailey said.

Serving in SGA during the pandemic was a necessary experience for Bailey, learning skills that “different administrations didn’t have the opportunity to.” 

“[I learned] new ways to advance the university through different mechanisms: how important technology is [and] how important it is to make sure you have backup plans for everything,” she said. “I think that’s one of the crucial things that I learned during this administration that I feel I [can] implement into the next administration.”